Samuel Blapp

Samuel Blapp

Contact Details

Theologische Fakultät, Kirchgasse 9, 8001 Zürich
Office: KIR-E-005
Phone: 0041446345404


Academic Appointments

2016 UZH Forschungskredit Postdoctoral Researcher (part-time), Faculty of Theology, University of Zurich. Chair: Prof. T. Krüger
2014-2015 Research Assistant, Genizah Bible Pilot Project (part-time), Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library.
2013-2014        Researcher in Karaite Hebrew Bible Manuscripts (part-time), Prof G. Khan, Faculty of  Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge.


2013     PhD student, FAMES, University of Cambridge (UK). Thesis:The Non-Standard Tiberian Hebrew Language Tradition according to Bible Manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah. Supervisor: Prof G. Khan.
2011-2013     MA Ancient Judaism, University of Berne (Diploma), Zurich, Tel Aviv. Thesis: The Palestinian and Tiberian Vocalisation Traditions of Biblical Hebrew. A Study of Three Manuscripts with Double Vocalisation from the Cairo Genizah. Supervisors: Prof R. Bloch/ Prof G.Khan.

Bachelor of Theology, University of Basel, Berne (Diploma), Cambridge (UK).



2014                          "Ein jüdischer Schreiber im mittelalterlichen Bistum Basel? Die Belege von Ms Parm. 2924". Judaica 70:2-3. 139-164.



A Preliminary Study of the Vocalised Karaite Transcriptions of the Hebrew Bible form the Second Firkovich Collection (funded by UZH FK grant: FK-16-004):

For this two-year project I will examine the 80 vocalised Karaite transcriptions of  the Hebrew Bible into Arabic script in the Second Firkovich Collection held at the National Library of Russia. Initially, I will produce a hand list of these manuscripts. The Karaite transcriptions are one of the most important sources for the Standard Tiberian pronunciation tradition of biblical Hebrew. They use Arabic matres lectionis (semi-consonants used to denote the quality of a vowel) to indicate the vowel length of biblical Hebrew according to the Tiberian traditions. Furthermore, they are displaying details about the pronunciation of consonants and other important philological issues like the use of dageš (the sign for gemination and stop pronunciation of the bgdkft letters) and rafe (the sign to indicate the pronunciation of the bgdkft letters). Additionally, these transcriptions provide information about the use and pronunciation of Arabic characters in the medieval Jewish traditions. It will be interesting to see whether their application differs in the respective manuscripts, since the Karaite transcriptions have been produced across the Middle East.

The Non-Standard Tiberian Hebrew Language Tradition according to Bible Manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah.

My PhD project deals mainly with Biblical Hebrew manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah, which are vocalised according to the so-called Tiberian non-standard pronunciation tradition. It is my aim to collect data from such manuscripts in order to elaborate a classification scheme that takes into consideration the manifold differences within the non-standard pronunciation tradition. Furthermore, I intend to rethink the terminology that has been used to describe the manuscripts in question. This data is being compared to the biblical manuscript Leningrad Codex B19a, which serves as the base text for the modern critical editions of BHS and BHQ, and the famous Aleppo Codex wherever possible. With this comparison, I also aim to better situate these two major works of Masoretic scholarship within the wider context of medieval Hebrew manuscripts employing the Tiberian vocalisation system.

Research Interests

Vocalisation Traditions of Biblical Hebrew, Masoretic Studies, Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Semitic Languages and Linguistics, Cairo Genizah, Medieval Manuscripts, Medieval Judaism, Medieval History.

Academia Online-Profile